Coronavirus pandemic in the US

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2:39 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

New York state cancels its presidential primary election

From CNN's Kate Sullivan, Annie Grayer, and Liz Stark

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The New York State Board of Elections voted to cancel the presidential primary scheduled for June 23 during a call with the board on Monday. 

Douglas Kellner, the co-chair of the New York State Board of Elections, told CNN the two Democratic election commissioners — himself and Andrew Spano — have the power under the election law to cancel the election.

“In the budget that was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor on April 3 included a provision that any candidates who have suspended their campaign or requested to be removed from the ballot should be removed from the primary ballot,” Kellner said. “And of course Sen. Sanders had suspended his campaign. He did that five days after the law was enacted. And it basically rendered the primary moot, and at a time when the goal is to avoid unnecessary social contact, our conclusion was that there was no purpose in holding a beauty contest primary that would marginally increase the risk to both voters and poll workers.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order last month moving the primary from its originally scheduled date of April 28 to June.

He responded to the board’s vote in his news conference today, saying, “I’m not going to second guess the board of elections there are a number of, I know there are a lot of election employees, employees of boards of elections who are nervous about conducting elections. But I’ll leave it up to the board of elections.”

Jay Jacobs, chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, told CNN in a phone interview Monday afternoon that he agreed with the decision to cancel the state's presidential primary contest.

Jacobs said it was a "necessary move" by the New York election officials to protect the health and safety of voters and poll workers.

He noted that the outcome was essentially “pre-determined” since Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic race and emphasized the need to protect voters amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"We've stopped all non-essential business. This certainly is a non-essential primary if ever there was one," Jacobs said.

 

2:23 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Florida governor: Reopening will be "slow and steady wins the race"

From CNN’s Lindsay Benson

WESH
WESH

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned at a news conference Monday that it "is going to be slow and steady wins the race" as the state moves forward during the pandemic.

"It's not going to be something that a switch is going to be flipped, this is going to be slow and steady wins the race, it's going to be very methodical, very data driven, and there's going to be probably some people that think it's too slow, and I get that," DeSantis said.

DeSantis said there are about 400 coronavirus patients on ventilators in the state.

"In the state of Florida right now, we have 6,408 ventilators that are just simply sitting idle. In fact, the total number of patients we have on ventilators for Covid-19 statewide is about 400, as of last night," DeSantis said.

2:14 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Los Angles County will soon be able to decontaminate more than 30,000 masks per day

From CNN's Stella Chan

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks at a news conference on January 27, in Calabasas, California.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks at a news conference on January 27, in Calabasas, California. Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Los Angles County will open a decontamination center to disinfect N95 masks, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a press conference this morning.

He said the shortage in the supply chain, as well as the growing market for counterfeit masks is a concern.

The new center will be able to decontaminate more than 30,000 masks per day, and allow each mask to be used up to 20 times, said Sheriff Villanueva.

An airtight container, the size of a small dishwasher, will decontaminate masks using hydrogen peroxide vaporization. Within a few hours, the masks will be cleaned without compromising any protective properties.

The LASD is the first in the nation to implement this type of a center, said the sheriff.

Officials will be conducting scaling tests this week. It is not clear when the decontamination center will be completely operational.

2:18 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

There are now more than 3 million coronavirus cases worldwide

From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Jen Deaton

The number of coronavirus cases have now topped 3 million globally, according to a running tally from Johns Hopkins University. Nearly a third of all cases are in the US.

The US has at least 972,969 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins

Spain follows the US with the second highest count of Covid-19 cases worldwide with 229,422.

Spain is followed by Italy, France, Germany and the UK as countries with the most coronavirus cases globally.  

2:08 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Iowa will allow some counties to begin reopening businesses on May 1

From CNN’s Konstantin Toropin

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces updates on COVID-19 in the state on April 24.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces updates on COVID-19 in the state on April 24. Olivia Sun/The Des Moines Register/Pool/AP

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today that 77 of the state's 99 counties can reopen restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores and enclosed malls at 50% capacity beginning May 1.

Reynolds also said that she is lifting the ban on religious gatherings of more than 10 people. 

This approach takes "a targeted approach to loosening restrictions" and focuses on counties "where there is no virus activity or where virus activity has been consistently low and shown a downward trend," Reynolds said.

Counties where Covid-19 activity is higher will have their closures extended through May 15, the governor said.

"It's based on a stabilization and it's based on virus activity and the amount of new cases over the past 14 days," Reynolds said.

She added that business and churches approved for reopening "must also adhere to social distancing, hygiene, public health measures, and business guidelines from the department of public health" to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Reynolds also said that restaurants will have to keep tables at least six feet apart and limit the number of people that can be at a table. 

2:08 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

New measure requires all Massachusetts nursing home workers to be tested for coronavirus

From CNN's Shawn Nottingham

An additional $130 million in funding will be allocated to Massachusetts' nursing homes and long-term care facilities to implement coronavirus precautions, Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The money will be used for additional staff, personal protective equipment and cleaning and disinfecting of the facilities, he said.

“Clearly protecting our most vulnerable citizens in nursing homes, rest homes and assisted living residence has emerged as one of the greatest challenges we face in our fight against Covid-19," he said.

Baker also announced that all residents and staff in the commonwealth’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities will now be tested for coronavirus as part of new mandatory criteria.

Baker also said additional guidelines including procedures for infection control and mandates on personal protective equipment in facilities will be implemented. The facilities will be audited to make sure they are meeting the requirements, Baker said.

2:00 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

New Jersey governor prefers statewide reopening plan to regional

 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy updates the state on the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference on April 24.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy updates the state on the coronavirus pandemic during a press conference on April 24. Chris Pedota/Pool/The Record/AP

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said while it’s too early to tell whether reopening will be on a regional or statewide basis, he prefers the latter.

“My bias will be leaning toward making state decisions — statewide decisions," he said, adding “unless we see a real unique reason to do otherwise, or unless we see a really bifurcated reality in terms of the virus and its impact on the state.”

The reopening will begin in work places and venues where the state has a “high degree of confidence” that social distancing and other related norms can be effectively executed.

While Murphy did not have a clear picture of what would come back online first, he mentioned the “food chain” and other essential elements. He added that as much as he loves music, concerts are not going to be coming back “anytime soon.” 

Murphy noted that some decisions will likely be made in harmony with other states, giving the example that he does not imagine that a restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey, would have a different protocol than one on the lower west side of Manhattan.

 

1:47 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

There is not enough research yet to determine coronavirus immunity, WHO official says

From CNN's Amanda Watts

World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove speaks during a daily press briefing at the WHO headquaters in Geneva, Switzerland on March 9.
World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove speaks during a daily press briefing at the WHO headquaters in Geneva, Switzerland on March 9. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the coronavirus response with the World Health Organization, said there isn’t enough research yet to determine if someone is immune to Covid-19 once they recover from the virus.

"At the present time, four months into this pandemic, we’re not able to say that an antibody response means that someone is immune," Van Kerkhove said.

“Right now, there are no studies that evaluate the antibody response as it relates to immunity, so we can’t say that an antibody response means that someone is immune,” she said, adding there are a number of studies underway.

Van Kerkhove said officials expect that people infected with Covid-19 will have some level of protection. "What we don’t know right now is, how strong that protection is and if that’s seen in everybody that is infected, and for how long that lasts," she said.

Early results from several countries “suggest that a large proportion of the population remains susceptible," Van Kerkhove said. She added that it is "an important feature because that means that there still are people that this virus can infect."

1:27 p.m. ET, April 27, 2020

More than 55,000 people have died from coronavirus in the US

There have been at least 972,969 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 55,118 people have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.

On Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 7,184 new cases and 237 reported deaths. 

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.